Inspired by the current exhibition, Sarah Nesbitt: Making Sense of What We Have, Target Gallery will be hosting a collage making session in which any individual can create and show their version of history during the Second Thursday Art Night. Whether it be highlighting what you find most important, or pointing out things that you have come to question, we encourage you to add your perspective on the community’s shared history to show what stands out to you!
(Note: Supplies will be provided)
Sarah Nesbitt, The Breakdown of Language (detail), 2011. Cut Pigmented inkjet Print, Cut Newspaper Tableau.
Come hungry to The Late Shift: Night Market, the second of three late-night summer festivals. Experience a late-night celebration of food, art, and music along the riverfront and in the Torpedo Factory.
Torpedo Row Artist Market
In July, we invite you to cool off from the heat and join our “Summer Social”! Featuring receptions in Target Gallery, Art League Gallery, and The Associate Gallery, as well as new projects and artists in the Post Grad Studio and the New Project Studio.
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 13th 6 – 8 pm | Artist Talk 7 pm
Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, welcomes Detroit-based mixed-media artist Sarah Nesbitt for her first solo exhibition in the greater D.C. metropolitan area.
Nesbitt’s show arrives at a time where our society, the media, and government aim to establish a concrete line between fact and opinion, history and myth, evidence and conspiracy theory. She studies forgeries, censorship, the writing and re-writing of history, and positions art as essential to contextualizing and interpreting both our present and our past.
“A photograph is often perceived to be an objective arbiter of truth, but realistically, it’s just as open to manipulation as the process of recording history,” said Nesbitt. “Photography can alter our entire perception of reality via editing, interpretation, and desensitization. It can also construct hyper-reality and depict pseudo-events.”
To Nesbitt, history is a living, breathing investigation into who and what came before us. Using a variety of modern and antiquated printed and digital media—videos, installations, sculpture, augmented reality, and even wet-plate photography—Nesbitt disrupts her own work with stitching, dissecting, writing, and pinning. She lays it bare so that it can be seen for what it is. Photographs aren’t precious and complete, they’re vulnerable to disruptions from outside forces.
For her large-scale print, The Survival of Art, she lays out slides and notates them with art historical comments. For example, the slide labeled “Edward Curtis” reads, “Destroyed all of his glass negatives in 1919. Others claimed he misrepresented Native American people.”
In Our History of the Telephone, the audience sees a spread in an old book on the history of telephony. Using a custom application on a smart phone, the viewer holds the screen over the picture of the book and sees it changed and modified in real time.
“My aim is to create awareness to these shortcomings so we could continue to look at history not as static stories of previous lives, but our efforts to get closer to an accurate portrayal of our past,” she said.
Nesbitt was selected from more than 100 international applicants as part of the annual Open Exhibition solo show opportunity. The jurors for this exhibition were: Jeremy Flick, Sheldon Scott, and Marta Staudinger.
“Sarah explores the critical methods we use to record world history and understand our present,” said Flick. “She aims to reveal the shortcomings of how we read photographic images, what constitutes as accurate, and how we construct narratives of history. She offers a new focal point in which we should critically examine the role of photography in our understanding of history and the formation of our present stories.”
“As our understanding of truth, its consequences, and our acceptance thereof are challenged in new ways, we must become open to nuanced frameworks for future thinking and increased scrutiny of the historical record,” said Scott. “Sarah’s use of different media suggests a diversity of delivery systems that truth could be experienced through. Her disruption of surfaces brings a greater focus to our personal experiences in the process of truth.”
“Sarah’s interest in creating awareness of history shortcomings is a refreshing narrative that seems particularly appropriate in a time where we are so digitally connected to news, and yet somewhat removed from truth,” said Staudinger. “The amount of information input we receive is overwhelming and this exhibition brings to light not only that process, but the historiography of our interpretation of history over time.”
Sarah Nesbitt: Making Sense of What We Have runs Thursday, July 13, through Sunday, September 3, 2017. The public reception will be Second Thursday, July 13, 6 – 8 pm, with Nesbitt’s comments at 7 pm. The Target Gallery is open daily from 10 – 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays.
Sarah Nesbitt, Losing the Collection, 2011. Pigmented Inkjet Print, Inventory Tags, String.
Sarah Nesbitt, Evidence of Existence, 2017. Pigmented Inject Print.
In the Finest Amenities, Sheldon Scott examines the relationship of the Potomac and the people of Alexandria through the lens of a historic luxury: ice.
Sheldon builds upon his immersive performance this past April, which was inspired by the history of harvesting ice from the Potomac, and the storage and use of that ice at nearby Gadsby’s Tavern. the Finest Amenities brought together performance, video, installation, photography, and community dialogue. He layered in enslaved narratives and the history and ecology of the river to examine the crucial relationships between race, class, environment, luxury, and consumption.
The exhibition in the New Project Studio (Studio 8) will include ephemera, like Sheldon’s suit, performers’ costumes, and the wheelbarrow, as well as a selection of large-scale photographs and video documentation from April. It will also include further insight into Sheldon’s thoughts and inspirations for the Finest Amenities.
This exhibition is part of the Alexandria Office of the Arts’ Time & Place program. This public-art series seeks to foster a dialogue about our region’s history and its continued reverberations today.
Born and raised in the Gullah/Geechee Lowcountry of South Carolina in the small town of Pawley’s Island, Sheldon Scott now lives and works in Washington, D.C. as an artist. His work plays in the intersection of race, sexuality and economics, while impugning mythologies of black male supernaturality. Sheldon makes performance, sculpture, installation, photobased work, spoken word, creative nonfiction, objects and ephemera. He is an alumnus of the Capital Fringe Theatre Festival and (e)merge Art Fair. His storytelling has been shared on the stages of Busboys & Poets, Story District, and The Moth, where he serves as host for the DC outpost. Scott’s Fine Art practice has enjoyed exhibits at the WPA Select Auction, Arlington Arts Center, Delaware State University, Goucher University, Art Miami the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, National African Art Museum, Katzen Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Blouin Art Info, Art 21 and Hyperallergic. His upcoming memoir Shrimp & Griots, is based on his storytelling narratives of the same name. In a quest for truth, Scott hopes to de-silo the disciplines of art, history and science through the use of shared language and practices. ConnerSmith Contemporary represents Scott’s Fine Art works while Ross & Yoon Literary Agency represents his written works.
Part skate park, part secret pop-up art show, The Late Shift: Freestyle is the first of three late-night festivals over the course of the 2017 summer season. Experience a late-night art happening along the riverfront and in the Torpedo Factory.
Indoor skate park at the Torpedo Factory
DJ set by Sharkey
Beer, wine, sandwiches, and bronut ice cream sandwiches with EatsPlace
Torpedo Row artist market
6 pm: Preview 7 pm: Skate Park opens 7 – 10 pm: DJ set by SHARKEY 10 pm-10:30pm: DJ set by Capps Music 11 pm: DJ set by SHARKEY Midnight: Bounce out
Bring your ideas! There will be a table for future brainstorming of art activities and other pop-up ideas at Torpedo Factory.
About the Featured Artists
Born in Corinto, El Salvador, Josue Martinez is a passionate artist and graphic designer with more than fifteen years of experience creating inspired works of art. He studied at the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and is the founder and head creative of Art in Promotions, a full-service graphic design firm. As a community artist, Josue has worked with a variety of youth and change-making organizations. Favorite media include pencils, computer graphics, and he has recently discovered metals.
KEYHAN’s a mixed media artist based in Arlington, Virginia. His interest in pop-art, surrealism, dadaism, low-brow street art, and fine art define the aesthetics of his works. His process often explores layers, textures/patterns, and contrasting themes that engages the viewer’s own introspection. Follow him online via @keyhansolo.
Musician, producer and beat maker, Sharkey, has worked and performed with such heavyweights as Eminem, The Black Eyed Peas, Rick Rubin, Everlast, Spank Rock, Jedi Mind Tricks, Kool Keith, and Wyclef Jean. He’s also featured on the soundtracks for movies like Big Daddy and Strays, television shows like House, and XBOX360 video games like Rockstar. His first album, Sharkey’s Machine was credited by The Washington Post as one of “The Top 10 Best Records of 2004” and his second album, Monster Maker was highly rated in Entertainment Weekly and Urb Magazine. He received a Capitol Hill Hilly Award as the 2011 Artist of the Year. He has recently partnered with the Joodlum Group on restaurant and nightlife venues slated to open in 2017.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes Story District for their first-ever Virginia event on June 23. Join us for a hilarious night with some of the finest storytellers to have performed on the Story District stage. Best for an 18+ audience.
Doors 7:30 pm Event 8 pm – 9:30 pm
Now Sold Out! Second Show Added!
Doors 10 pm Event 10:30 pm – midnight
Graham Campbell (hear a story; some adult themes; language)
Andrea Jones (hear a story; some adult themes)
Keith Mellnick (hear story below)
Vijai Nathan (hear a story; some language)
Corey Quinlan Taylor
Called the “gold standard in storytelling” by The Washington Post and nominated for the 2012 and 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Awards, Story District is widely known in the region for showcasing storytelling at its best.
Story District promotes excellence and cultivates new talent in storytelling in the Washington, DC, area through its live performances, coaching, classes, and ongoing support of storytellers. By showcasing diverse perspectives and life experiences, our stories entertain, enrich an understanding of the world, promote compassion, and highlight our shared humanity.
Enjoy a special after-hours event at the Torpedo Factory Art Center every month. Browse open studios and galleries, interact with artists, and enjoy special programming. Stop by on your way to dinner and make an evening of it!
7 pm: Target Gallery (Studio 2) welcomes juror Adriel Luis, curator of digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center to talk about the new exhibition, Glitch.
“Ever since the invention of fire, humans have approached technology with intrigue, bewilderment and audacity – sometimes all at the same time. The work submitted for this exhibit presented a treasure trove of ways that artists attempt to tame this flame.” – Adriel Luis
The newest exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, explores emerging technological and interactive media in art. Glitch: An Exploration of Digital Media features the work of 11 artists from across the country, five of whom are from the region. Adriel Luis, curator of digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, juried the show.
“Ever since the invention of fire, humans have approached technology with intrigue, bewilderment and audacity – sometimes all at the same time,” said Luis. “The work submitted for this exhibit presented a treasure trove of ways that artists attempt to tame this flame. I learned that technology and media-based art is not merely a genre or medium, but rather a layer of reality that will inevitably become present in all forms of creative expression.”
The work on view in Glitch shows the complex—and sometimes messy—relationship between emerging technologies and basic human communication. Technology can be an obstacle, a distraction, or a placeholder for storytelling. For example, in Sasha de Koninck’s Zeroes and Ones, each jacquard weaving has musical compositions embedded into them. Viewers can play preprogramed compositions or create their own arrangements based on where they move and direct the camera on the accompanying tablet device.
“I chose works that insisted on telling their tales in spite of these challenges,” said Luis. “The works presented here may demonstrate new ways of looking at media, but more importantly, they are new ways of looking at ourselves.”
Glitch is the first exhibition of its kind in Target Gallery and the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
“This exhibition reflects contemporary culture,” said Leslie Mounaime, Target Gallery director. “Artists are embracing technology, utilizing new media and digital elements to enhance their artistic storytelling. The media itself is consistently revolutionizing, too. We’ve risen to the challenge to illustrate the evolving nature of art using digital technology.”
Adriel Luis is a musician, poet, visual artist, curator and coder from the California Bay Area. Adriel is currently based in Washington, D.C., as the curator of digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where his team has been developing a series of “culture labs” as community-created alternatives to traditional museum exhibitions. He is also a founding member of the psychedelic spoken word collective iLL-Literacy, and moonlights on design projects with artists and non-profits. Adriel frequently travels, with particular interest in how digital space shapes global communities. Adriel can be found across online platforms as @DRZZL.
Image: Zach Nagle, Glamour #2, 2015, Mixed Media/Print
Video: Sasha de Koninck, Zeroes and Ones: Exercises in Translation, 2015, Interactive Jacquard Weaving
*The Torpedo Factory sometimes closes at 5 pm for private events. Check Today’s Hours to see if this could affect your visit.*Artists maintain their own studio hours. It's best to confirm availability before your visit. *The Torpedo Factory is closed for New Year's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Target Gallery has limited availability during City holidays.